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Hi. I have a unisaw from “97” with a biesemeyer fence. I am finding that here is no simple way to attach things to the fence. I am trring to rip thin pieces for inlay ( 1/4 thick X 1/8 wide) and need to put a feather board on the fence, but find the clamp is in my way..

I have been looking at the new fence from very super cool tools, very impressive. Any body out there have one, or any thoughts on this fence.

Thanks Joel
 

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Hi. I have a unisaw from “97” with a biesemeyer fence. I am finding that here is no simple way to attach things to the fence. I am trring to rip thin pieces for inlay ( 1/4 thick X 1/8 wide) and need to put a feather board on the fence, but find the clamp is in my way..

I have been looking at the new fence from very super cool tools, very impressive. Any body out there have one, or any thoughts on this fence.

Thanks Joel
*** Important = Think outside the box.

For thin strips, your measuring point for the "thin strip" should be to the left of the blade, cutting the strip off the stock and letting it fall away from the blade... So a thin strip gauge goes into the left miter slot and extends toward the blade from left to right.

You touch the gauge with your work and adjust the rip fence to your work. Cut, moving your work along the rip fence. The thin strip falls off away from the blade and doesn't get trapped between the blade and rip fence.

That is how I do it on my Rockwell Shop Saw. I have another "T" fence for it to attach jigs and such... Like you are thinking on for the Super Cool Tools fence... but you don't really need something like that to cut thin strips.

I do the same with my panel saw (sort of)... but going the opposite direction-- using a sliding table, with a parallel fence... and my rip fence pulled forwards, used as the thin strip gauge.

I built the first T-Fence from being inspired by YouTube videos from the person that came up with and sells those Super Cool Tools Fences. Yes, he shows how to build it DIY.

I have an aluminum extrusion "T" fence that I adapted from a Uni-T-Fence from Peachtree for my panel saw also... I have to say-- they come in handy and I use them... But before those 2 T fences, i did come up with ways to get around that and still did things... There was not a time I couldn't without them. It's just more convenient and quicker now.

If you need ideas on doing things using a Bies Fence, just ask. I have lots of experience with those. Some ideas are just more creative than others. I also ended up doing a few mod's to mine, to make them more usable and accurate. They are good heavy-duty fence systems. They just have a few things that "could" be better.
 

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I agree. Trying to cut with the fence only 1/8" away from the blade and trapping a narrow strip between them is a recipe for disaster. There are better ways to cut narrow strips and Mike gave you one of the best ways to do it.

Charley
 

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I had a Beismier type fence that was very nice, but decided to try out the Incra system to make waiste side cuts accurately. With the system you can easily adjust the fence for one cut after another by sliding it the the width of the "thin" piece plus the saw kerf.

I have only installed a couple fences but I can't imagine any being simpler to get on quickly and correctly than the Incra. After set up I cut 10 1/8 thin cuts off the waist side (off a jointed and squared board) stacked all ten together and measured with calipers. They did not vary 2 thousands over 4 feet.

I often feel like an Incra salesman on here, but I can't help it. Their system really works :)
 

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I use and like the Rockler thin strip table saw jig. Makes ripping multiple thin strips easy and safe. The Rockler universal fence clamps are also handy and easy to use.
 

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Not to muddy the waters-- But I might as well take this and add to it.

I have an Incra LS system on my shelf, so I can talk on them. You mentioned waste-side, but you could also use the Incra's T-slots on it to mount a stop block to use as an accurate thin-strip gauge also... And use a crosscut sled. (Or the Incra 5000, which is a "just" an accurate crosscut sled).

In reality, any sled would help with that.

On adding fence faces to Beis type rip fences- I found 2 ways to easily and accurately mount fence faces to the fence. One is to drill the fence through, then use bolts all the way through. This way you can recess the heads into the two fence faces and sandwich the fence between those two faces.

The other way is too drill and tap the fence. Then you can attach a fence face directly to it. This way you can attach UHMWPE or Wood faces easily.

And say you did drill 2 holes through... and used a t-bolts with a lever clamps for nuts, then you could use an aluminum extrusion as a fence face. Or any fence face material that you put a t-slot into (such as wood). That last fence system I built I did both- drill two holes through for t-bolts, then had 4 other holes that I welded in nuts, so that I could screw on faces. So it had the option to do both ways.

The problem I found with clamping to a fence as an after-thought, over/around the fence (instead of through), is that it is was hard to clamp to it and have it true... in other words, perpendicular to the table. Most of the time, attaching a fence face extension also needed to be done in an accurate manner.

That touches on the other mods I do to my Beis type fences. Stock, there is one adjustment... to the fence guide rail so you can get it parallel with the miter slot.
- Add adjustment to tilt the fence to get the fence face perpendicular to the table.
- Add fence guide rail offside adjustment to kept it (always somewhat) snug against the guide rail. That keeps the off-by creep from happening as you tighten the fence locking mechanism. And they slide better that way!!!
- Add an adjustment to the end of the fence. Adds adjustment to aid in keeping the top of the fence parallel across the table and will aid in keeping the end of the fence from rolling up off the table
- Add a micro-adjust mechanism.

Some other tips--
If you change your rule to be the fence face <--to the--> rule instead of remotely out on the rail "T" with a lense... then any fence face you put it on will automatically be set to that rule... and moving your micro-adjust will automatically reflect on that scale, has no remote off-set measurement... that you have to remember to add or subtract to/from your rule. The fence to rule is then, always "the measurement".
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to all who wrote. I am using a rockler thin rip jig, the problem was the stock is only a 1/4" thick and and tends to come up.
I wlllook into the fence clamps from rockler, thous are the ones with the wheels that ride on the stock to hold it down right.

thanks Joel
 

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Thanks to all who wrote. I am using a rockler thin rip jig, the problem was the stock is only a 1/4" thick and and tends to come up.
I wlllook into the fence clamps from rockler, thous are the ones with the wheels that ride on the stock to hold it down right.

thanks Joel
Joel--
That was a question "right?"

No. The Rockler Fence Clamps are L-bolts that can clamp around the fence, with the "L" head that can go down into a hole drilled down into the top edge of a fence face extension. That way the clamp doesn't get in the way anywhere near the actual fence face...

What you are thinking about is feather boards that rub against a work piece and "wheels" that roll on a workpiece. They have both those also... but to use either of those types of fixtures, you would first need something to fix or attach them to... right?

This is getting sticky. Before recommending further...

You say you "are" using a thin rip gauge already?

You are saying you want to use something to help "hold down" the work as you are cutting it?

Just trying to picture what you are trying to do, there being confusion and ending up hurting yourself... Just trying to get a clear picture of what you are trying to do and the difficulty you are having.

If it were larger work-- then I would recommend rollers or a hold-down. Being used on larger stock, a "guide," such as a feather board or roller (usually marked as a Board Buddy) wouldn't end up potentially becoming a trap. "Picture" that supports used on small pieces can create a chute which could set up conditions for a flying projectile if done wrong...

Being it's a thin strip that you are trying to create and it seems like you are trying to keep the workpiece from lifting off the table as you are trying to cut it-- I might recommend using a hold-down push block. Many times, if working with thin stock on a Table Saw, Router Table or Shaper, I'll use a rubber or a dense sponge rubber float as a push block... That way I can hold the work piece down as I move it over the cutter. They cost less than $5, so are somewhat expendable to use as push blocks. On large thin pieces, I'll use a sacrificial piece of plywood, on top of the thin stock, to use as backer, to hold down and support the thin stock as it's being cut.

Does that address what you are now describing?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for your suggestions I am using pieces of curly maple about 4" wide to start, so a push block may not work to long unless I end up cutting into it. I would rather have a feather board or rollers to hold it down.

Thanks Joel
 

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I have roughly the same vintage of Unisaw, maybe a few years older only I have the unifence. It is even harder to adapt anything to. I tried for quite a while to figure out a way to attach things without drilling the extrusion. I never figured it out and finally couldn't avoid it anymore, I absolutely had to attach a sacrificial face to the fence for a job I needed to do and I drilled 3 holes through it (still bothers me when I look at them). I've seen boxes built to go over the Biesemeyer and while you can guarantee that the far end will stay square you can't guarantee that the near end won't flare out at the bottom, making the face out of square. Unless you make it a fairly tall box, then you can put long enough centre pieces between the box sides to keep it rigid but the height can get in your way for a lot of jobs. Otherwise, I don't know a way to avoid drilling holes through it. Either fence seems to only be designed for general ripping which I see as a shortcoming. I have an Accusquare fence for another saw which is a box section extrusion with T slots which is much handier.

Duane thanks for that link to Rockler. What an ingenious little jig. I have commonly ripped down to 1/2 or 3/8 which is about the limit to get a push stick in between the blade and fence but with a jig like that I can see there would be no need to do that anymore. It would be an easy one to make yourself and I would add a scale on it to make it quicker to set up. As long as the runner in the miter slot is tight the scale on the jig should be as accurate as the rip fence scale is.
 

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...about 4" wide to start, so a push block may not work to long unless I end up cutting into it.
Exactly as I described. Sacrificial would mean you don't care if the blade cuts into the sacrificial piece you are using to hold down and push with. Rather $1-$4 than your fingers... And when it gets that first shallow cut or nick in it, you won't care about using it again it as a push block. That's what it is for. It is replaceable. Your fingers, not as much.

I would rather have a feather board or rollers to hold it down.
You said you were creating pieces 0.250" by 0.125" (1/4" x 1/8")... Remembering my mentioning if the work piece was bigger? If what you are steadying is that small... wheels, feather boards and your work piece crowded against a rip fence and down to the table is going to be more crowded than your original complaint on the clamps being in the way... Without room to get a push stick in there to clear your work safely away from the blade.

Then you are going to have a very thin (0.125") strip that gets detached, is standing on it's light, thin edge... and it will want to twist as the blade is spinning... with the strip trapped between the blade and fence... which at the setting you described is only 1/8" away from your rip fence.

You are describing some tight clearances and I hope my description of the mechanics of that brings some things to light on that. Take a moment to look at the attached. I understand the mechanics of what you are trying to do... But those kinds of appliances are going to be a hindrance in tight spaces on small work.

If you use a sacrificial piece of plywood above it as a backer board... Yes the blade will cut up into the plywood. The piece will not get lifted off the table and the top edge, with the backer board, will result in one of the cleanest cuts imaginable. But when I describe that, I am still hoping you are cutting the strip off on the "off-side" of the blade, so the strip falls away from the blade... not between the blade and fence.

Take a look at this jig and the technique of it's use:
Thin Strip Ripping Jig, Woodsmith No. 184 Online Extras

So... Just how are you planning on cutting those thin strips and just where would you attach a feather board or roller, to support what & where?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi. I solved my problem by starting with wider and longer pieces of plain maple 6" x 36". ( you can't see much grain in 1/4" wide strip anyway). while using the rockler thin rip jig, which is a great tool, I found out that my fence moves left when I lock it down, so tight that I can't move the stock between the fence and the jig. It takes 2 or 3 times to get it right. Any thoughts on this.
Thanks Joel
 
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